The Autumn budget is out. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP has delivered his Autumn Budget 2017 speech in the House of Commons today.
Analysts and economists will be pouring over the details in the next few days. But there are some major announcements that were expected, and some that definitely weren’t.
Steven Glicher takes us through the initial highlights that might affect small business.
Stamp Duty on First Time Buyers
In a shock move, stamp duty has been abolished for first-time buyers on homes up to £300,000, and on the first £300,000 of properties up to £500,000. This wasn’t expected but will be very pleasing for younger voters.
Despite some predictions, Mr Hammond decided to leave the VAT threshold where it currently stands at £85,000. There had been some speculation that he might have made the controversial move of lowering the threshold at which businesses start having to charge VAT. This will come as a relief to many small businesses, however, he has launched a “consultation” into the difficult issue, so watch this space.
Fuel Duty Freeze
The expected rise in fuel duty did not emerge. However, drivers have not got away scott free, With a 1 percentage point increase in Diesel company car tax and, from 2018, an increase in tax on cars that don’t meet standards, to go up by one band. The increase in vehicle tax also only applies to new diesel cars from 1 April, so existing owners who were encouraged to buy diesel by previous governments will avoid being penalised. At present, we will have to see exactly what the rises relate to –as always, the devil is in the detail!
These are increasing, but in line with inflation, so nothing much to worry about here.
National Living Wage Rise
From April the living wage, is set to rise to £7.83 an hour from £7.50. This is good news for low paid workers, but small businesses will have to find ways to fund this, which usually means passing the cost on to consumers.
Corporation Tax reduction is still on target for next year. Good news for business!
With £1.7bn promised to the transforming cities fund, it seems the government has not abandoned the northern powerhouse idea. The announcement is about better connecting prosperous city centres with their suburbs, which might have good consequences for Stockport small businesses.
Good News, for some …
For the first time in many budgets, alcohol duties have been frozen. Enjoy it while it lasts!
What kind of budget
In many ways this is a giveaway budget. More has been given away than has been raised, but we will have to wait and see what comes out in the detail in the next few days.
We look forward to reviewing this in more detail in the coming weeks.